The chef de mission for Australia at the 2016 Summer Olympics revealed on Saturday that Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios are on watch and need to make behavioral changes on and off the tennis court if they hope to represent Australia at the Rio Olympics.
Both players have been put on notice by Kitty Chiller, who described Tomic’s behavior at a tournament in Madrid this week as “appalling,” after he deliberately gave up a match point — with the handle of his racket facing forward — and later said he didn’t care because at the age of 23 he was already worth $10 million.
“It goes against every … value that all the Olympians live by, it goes against everything that we’ve been trying to build in this team,” Chiller said at the Australian Olympic Committee’s annual general meeting.
“I would not want to see any of our Olympic team members behave in that way,” she stated.
Chiller revealed that “there’s a few athletes that are on watch and those two names are among them.”
“Every athlete is under the microscope now,” Chiller added.
She also stressed that the AOC had been watching the ongoing behavior of Kyrgios, who has regularly abused umpires, opponents and spectators.
Tennis Australia has until late June to nominate its team for Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, with world No. 21 Kyrgios and No.22 Tomic the country’s highest-ranked players and best chance for a medal.
But Chiller stressed that Tennis Australia can only nominate players of “good standing” within their sport, while the AOC has the final say.
“It’s their responsibility to determine whether it’s appropriate to nominate them,” she said.
“If any athlete from any sport is nominated, we look at everything … including behavior, including the disrepute clause. We have the ability to take that into consideration whether we proceed to select the nomination or not,” she added.